Detection of Alzheimer's: 5 Tests for Diagnosing Alzheimer's

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Detection of Alzheimer's
Currently there is no specific test or examination to confirm whether a person is suffering from Alzheimer's disease or not.

The doctor will make an assessment of all the symptoms, the patient information provided, as well as the results of various tests are undertaken.

To distinguish Alzheimer's disease from other causes of memory loss, usually some kind of tests will be done the following:

1. Physical and Neurological Examination

The doctor will perform a physical examination and will likely be followed by neurological examination as well. The following inspections are usually performed:

a. reflex

b. muscle strength

c. The ability to get up from sitting in a chair and walk across the room

d. Vision and the ability to feel touch

e. coordination

f. balance

2. Laboratory examination

Blood tests can help your doctor see if there are potential causes that lead to impaired memory and confusion, such as thyroid disorders or vitamin deficiencies.

3. Mental Status Examination

Your doctor may conduct a brief mental status examination to assess memory and thinking ability.

Mental status examination usually takes about 10 minutes shorter.

Usually in such examination the patient was asked to do some tasks and answer the following questions:

a. Draw a clock with a needle that shows the time specified by the examiner.

b. The name, date, and place this time.

c. Copy and draw two lines intersecting.

d. Following a three stage command.

e. Given three words spoken by the examiner.

f. Write a complete sentence.

g. Counting down from 100 a minus 7.

4. neuropsychological examination

Your doctor may recommend a broader examination to evaluate memory and thinking abilities of patients.

Longer neuropsychological examination can take several hours to complete.

This examination can provide additional detailed information about the patient's mental functioning compared to others who have the age and education levels similar to patients.

This kind of examination will help your doctor to see if the patient has the earliest stages of Alzheimer's disease or other dementia.

This examination can also help identify patterns of changes associated with various types of dementia.

5. Brain imaging (Brain Imaging)

Brain imaging is used primarily to determine the presence of abnormalities associated with health conditions that can cause cognitive changes, such as stroke, trauma, or tumor.

Brain imaging allows doctors to detect specific changes in the brain caused by Alzheimer's disease.

Currently the application is only used by large health care centers or clinical trials alone.

Brain imaging technologies are as follows:

a. Computerized Tomography (CT Scan)

This test is painless and takes about 20 minutes. CT scan is an examination that is often used, especially in patients with tumors, stroke, and head injury.

b. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

MRI uses radio waves and a strong magnetic field to produce a detailed picture of the brain.

This entire procedure can take an hour or more. MRI exams are painless, but some people feel claustrophobic inside the machine and was disturbed by the noise generated tool.

MRI is currently used primarily to look at the conditions that may lead to symptoms of cognitive decline.

In the future, MRI may be used to measure the volume of brain tissue and whether there are areas of the brain shrinkage in conjunction with Alzheimer's disease.

c. Positron Emission Tomography (PET Scan)

During a PET scan, a low-level radioactive tracer is injected into a vein. Tracer solution is a special form of glucose (sugar) which shows the overall activity in various brain regions.

This examination can show which parts of the brain that are not functioning properly. Techniques for PET scans can detect the level of plaque in the brain, a characteristic abnormalities associated with Alzheimer's.